Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been suspended 11 games because of his alleged behavior off the field. Though it's considered a strong punishment, there's no guarantee he'll learn from his past.
Rita Smith, who helps the NFL on matters of domestic violence and sexual assault, spoke to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com about Watson's situation.
Smith believes Watson is "playing" people with the way he has answered questions about his behavior.
“I feel like he’s playing us,” Smith said, via Cleveland.com. “He’s saying exactly what he thinks he needs to say to get on the field again. He’s not thinking strategically at all about. ‘Did I cause harm to other people?’ He’s not questioning any of his behaviors at all. He’s absolutely certain from that last statement: ‘I’ve done nothing wrong. This is all about people trying to get at me, and I just want to go play ball.'"
Smith added that she believes Watson could still be "a danger to people" moving forward.
“That energy is not good for future reoffending," she continued. “That that purports to me that he’s still a danger to people, because he’s done absolutely no self-reflection that I can tell. You don’t have that many violations reported from somebody who’s not doing anything wrong. . . . He’s doing something wrong in those [massage] sessions. He’s doing something inappropriate in those [massage] sessions. So he needs to figure out what that is and how he can stop it so that nobody gets hurt in that process.”
Last week, Watson was asked why he'd accept a disciplinary settlement from the NFL if he claims he's innocent.
"I’ve always been able to stand on my innocence and always said I never assaulted or disrespected anyone but at the same point I have to continue to push forward with my life and career," Watson responded.
Watson is eligible to return in early December.